Diets and Strokes: Everything You Need to Know

Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that are associated with a reduced risk of strokes. Want to learn more?
Diets and Strokes: Everything You Need to Know

Last update: 12 September, 2021

Is there any relationship between our diets and strokes? A healthy diet can reduce the risk of developing diseases in the medium and long term. Strokes are one of the health issues that are related, among other things, to risky dietary patterns. To help prevent them, we must ensure a steady supply of vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids.

If we optimize our diet, we can delay aging and, with it, the diseases or health issues associated with it. Cardiovascular and cerebral diseases claim thousands of deaths every year. So to help you avoid them, we’re going to recommend the nutrients that you should emphasize in your regular diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids and strokes

Lipids are essential nutrients in the diet. However, not all of them have the same quality. While trans fatty acids or omega-6 fatty acids have an inflammatory character, omega-3 fatty acids help reduce systemic inflammation.

Doctors state that consuming omega-3 fatty acids is positively associated with a reduced risk of stroke, as stated in an article published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

To minimize the contribution of inflammatory lipids and maximize the contribution of omega-3 fatty acids, we must follow a series of dietary recommendations:

  • Reduce processed foods consumption
  • Increase the intake of oily fish, raw vegetable oils and nuts
A table with fish and avocado

Increase selenium intake

Selenium is a mineral found in small amounts in the human body. This nutrient has antioxidant and neuroprotective properties, according to an article published in the journal Cell. For this reason, doctors associate eating foods rich in selenium with a reduced risk of suffering a stroke.

The good news is that this mineral can be easily found in nature. For example, fish, shellfish and even nuts are rich in selenium.

Prioritizing your fish intake over meat is a healthy strategy. Seafood products are rich in proteins, but they also have a higher content of water and essential fatty acids than meat.

Moreover, fish tends to have higher amounts of certain minerals that can help reduce the development of certain health issues.

Nuts on a table to improve diets and avoid strokes

Vegetables should be present in diets against strokes

Foods from the plant kingdom are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Both nutrients fight against aging and the development of diseases associated with it. Consuming more vitamins and antioxidants reduces mortality from all causes, among them, death by stroke.

You should consume at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. This is one of the ways you can benefit your body in the framework of a healthy and varied diet.

Avoid intoxicants

Alcohol is one of the most socially accepted toxic substances. However, it’s excessively present in most diets and consuming alcohol is actually related to a decreased performance in cardiovascular and brain function.

Recurrent alcohol ingestion hinders the proper functioning of the body’s physiological processes and increases the likelihood of getting sick, including having a stroke.

For this reason, we recommend that you eliminate alcohol from your regular diet. If this isn’t possible due to its social function, at least reduce how much you drink. In addition, try replacing alcoholic beverages with sparkling water.

Improved diets to avoid strokes

When seeking to delay aging, with all the positive effects in terms of reducing diseases that this entails, we must optimize our diet. Maintaining a varied and calorically balanced dietary pattern is a good way to ensure good health.

In conclusion, increasing the intake of omega-3 fatty acids, selenium and vegetables in the diet significantly reduces the risk of strokes. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients are positive when it comes to preventing health issues.

On the other hand, we must suppress, or at least reduce, the intake of toxic substances. One of them is alcohol, socially accepted but with serious negative health implications. If you can’t completely stop drinking alcohol, at least reduce its consumption to specific moments.

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  • Ueno Y., Miyamoto N., Yamashiro K., Tanaka R., Hattori N., Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and stroke burden. Int J Mol Sci, 2019. 20 (22): 5549.
  • Alim I., Caulfield JT., Chen Y., Swarup V., et al., Selenium drives a trascriptional adaptive program to block ferroptosis and treat stroke. Cell, 2019. 177 (5): 1262-1279.
  • Burgos Peláez, R., Segurola Gurrutxaga, H., & Bretón Lesmes, I. (2014). Soporte nutricional del paciente con ictus. Nutricion Hospitalaria29.